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All About the Apps

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Tools for Project Management: What We’re Using to Keep it All Straight

Working in a marketing and communications firm, there are always projects in the works and multiple specialists working on them from various locations. Here at East River PR, our in-house staffers consult digital experts across state lines, task remote contractors, and deliver as much attention to clients in Truckee as those in Alaska.

Keeping multiple clients’ projects moving forward with multiple workers is only possible with great time management and communication.

Whenever we are tasked a project for a client, I like to start by organizing the skeleton of a timeline. I’ll include all rough deadlines for when we’d like things to happen. Then I begin assigning people to get the work done.

For this we use Asana, a project management app meant for team-based work. Asana lets you create assignments, set notifications for deadlines and task colleagues directly to the things they’re working on. When tasking people, you can attach images, files or relevant email strings for context, so everything for that project lives in one place.

People tasked on assignments can easily see deadlines and the information they have to work from. Once they’ve completed a task, they can simply check a box and will notify the project manager and anyone following that task.

Once everyone knows what they’re working on, it’s important to record time worked to be accountable for our clients.

Harvest helps keep all of those random 15-minute intervals of work between hours-long stretches nice and organized.

With Harvest, you can either clock yourself while you work, or record your hours as you work them, at the end of the day, the week, the month – you get it. You can set a limit on hours per client or project to also help keep things within the determined project guidelines.

Harvest is also helpful in providing weekly, monthly or annual time reports based on individual employees or clients, projects, and timelines like a particular week or month’s work.

While you’re focusing on time management and tracking don’t forget to talk to your people!

We use Slack to communicate using a chat window online and on our cell phones. We have channels internally among colleagues, externally for contractors and even a couple clients with high-priority projects who get access to us around-the-clock.

Old faithful Google Suite, we believe, is still the best for scheduling internal and external meetings and sharing calendars among our teammates.

And whenever we want to take things offline from email for projects that require a collaborative effort, we use Dropbox – for file saving and sharing but so much more. In Dropbox we invite teams to view a file, whether it’s the latest client newsletter or the copy meant for a social media campaign. Everyone with access to that file can comment or edit and it’s clear to see who the changes are coming from.

And once you’re all organized with time saving and team communication hacks in place, everyone can work more efficiently with a better understanding of where projects stand at a given time. Now, go out there and hone your organizational prowess.

This post is part of an ongoing knowledge series from East River PR. Each of our team members have a unique skill-set and background that they bring each day to our work as we hone our craft. We’ve all gained from collaboration with our colleagues, our clients, and jobs we’ve had along the way, so we’d like to pay it forward here.

This week’s contributing team member is Lora Lashbrook. She is ERPR’s extremely well organized Senior Account Manager, overseeing our luxury lifestyle and pro bono accounts, and many of our print and digital marketing collateral projects. With a background in media buying and event planning, she’s adept at managing

dozens of moving parts. The complicated timelines she creates stump the rest of us, while bringing her a certain amount of satisfaction and joy.

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